As the coronavirus continues to impact our communities, the IRC in Baltimore remains committed to supporting our clients with high quality resettlement and immigration legal services. Our staff have been working remotely since March 23, and we have rapidly transitioned from providing in-person and community-based services to providing remote services through text, phone, and video. We are continually adjusting how we communicate with clients and partners based on local guidance, client needs, and available technology.
This shift in operations has also come alongside an increased demand for IRC services. Many current and former clients have contacted IRC for assistance accessing food resources, securing unemployment insurance, finding a new job, adjusting to remote learning, or applying for public benefits such as SNAP (food stamps). We are responding as quickly as we can, but some individuals and families will need longer-term support as the impact of this crisis continues to build.
Community partners have always been at the heart of refugee resettlement and integration. Now more than ever, IRC staff and clients rely on a network of public and private partners to welcome and support refugees and immigrants.
We are very grateful for partner organizations like ShareBaby, which has continued to provide critical diapers and baby items for our clients. Asylee Women Enterprise has delivered groceries for clients unable to leave their homes, and the Eddie and Sylvia Brown Foundation has allowed IRC to use grant funds to meet emergency needs. Volunteers and interns have called clients, worked remotely, sent Visa cards through our Amazon Wishlist, or donated to our office.
These are just a few examples; there are many, many more.
We invite you to consider supporting our clients and work during this crisis. The best ways to do this are by making a financial donation to our office and purchasing Visa gift cards from our Amazon Wishlist to be sent to clients. Another great way is to consider becoming an IRC volunteer—you could attend our next volunteer info session webinar on May 1 to learn about ways to get involved. Read more and RSVP here.
If you or someone you know would like to request services from the IRC, please call 410-327-1885, ext. 111 or fill out this form online. We are usually able to respond to inquiries within 2-3 days.
We wish all of you health and safety during this pandemic, and thank you for your continued solidarity and support.